Bottom-up hiring could perpetuate pay bias.

Here's something to consider when you're creating hiring policies for a large, multi-location enterprise. There's a danger that wages may appear to be discriminatory if the hiring process is centralized, but decisions about starting pay are made locally, without regard to broader corporate compensation scales. The risk: Class-action lawsuits.

Recent case: Jody and Julia were both hired as management-level employees at national burger chain Five Guys. They both worked for corporate-owned (rather than franchised) locations in Pennsylvania. Both earned a series of promotions and transfers.

But at some point it became evident to the women that male managers were earning more than they did. Because the company set job descriptions across all locations, they assumed that sex discrimination might explain their lower salaries, since everyone did the same job and met the same minimum hiring requirements.

They sued Five Guys on behalf of all similarly situated female managers across the organization, alleging sex discrimination and Equal Pay Act violations.

Five Guys asked for the collective action...

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